Kitchen Tour: Johanna and Dennis' Minimalism

Kitchen Tour: Johanna and Dennis' Minimalism

Jill Slater
Aug 11, 2011

Johanna and Dennis had a year to plan their fantasy kitchen. Prior to that, they made the best of a makeshift kitchen typical of early 20th century tenement studio apartments in New York City.

Their new, minimalist wonder of a kitchen was once the main living room of the adjoining apartment they annexed for this renovation. With twice the space, Johanna and Dennis could have indulged in all kinds of kitchen amenities. But they kept it simple. Simple lines, limited appliances, and some environmentally conscious decisions. They used plyboo custom made fronts for their IKEA cabinets. They kept the original oak wood flooring, but dyed and stained it black. And they used stainless steel which is easily recyclable or reusable for the open shelving.

Johanna's mom stores her pots below the stovetop. So, Johanna wanted the same. She says she "was used to that." As a result, the kitchen has a built in stove top with cabinetry below, and a separate oven built in to the opposing wall of IKEA cabinets. That's quite an effort to replicate a childhood memory. But it looks great!

It is a thoroughly well planned and gorgeous kitchen. It's easy to use. Dennis and Johanna use it to cook dinners about three times a week. And they love it!

10 Questions for Dennis and Johanna (& Their Kitchen)

What's your cooking style?
Fresh. Simple. High-quality ingredients.

What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
Hands down, my mother. Watching her cook taught me to appreciate food; I would prefer a meal at her table over any restaurant in the world. I didn't make a single move in the kitchen renovation - from layout to choosing appliances — without consulting her.

What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
My love for the seamless concrete countertop with integrated sink is unconditional. Dennis compares it to an infinity pool.

What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
When I wasn't the one cooking and Dennis was.

Biggest challenge in your kitchen?
Open shelving is a great idea until you try to dust it.

Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen?
The Bocci electrical outlets and the skylight.

Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
Our oven. It's far more powerful and cumbersome than we need, and yet it is a complete hazard (it burns super hot on the exterior).

What is your favorite cookbook?
Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food and every issue of Cook's Illustrated.

What are you cooking this week?
Far too many roasted Brussels sprouts for this heat.


• Concrete counters - Remik with the Concrete Shop
• Cabinetry - Ikea bases with custom Plyboo doors (Neopolitan).
• The hallway doors are just painted MDF.
• Miele dishwasher, stovetop, and washer/dryer
• Liebherr fridge
• Zephyr hood
• BlueStar oven
Bocci outlets

For Dennis and Johanna's full house tour, check out Johanna and Dennis' Streamlined Victory on Apartment Therapy.

• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here

Want to show us your own kitchen?
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Submit your kitchen here.

(Images: Jill Slater)

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